Budget 2017: Poorer pupils to receive free transport to grammar schools

Poorer pupils are expected to receive free transport as part of the Chancellor’s budget, which is being announced Wednesday, 8 March.

This would see disadvantaged children receive free transport to grammar schools up to 15 miles away from their home, according to government plans.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to announce the scheme in the upcoming budget, which would give free transport to certain schools who are eligible for free school meals, or families which receive the maximum working tax credit report.

Prime Minister Theresa May has commented on the scheme, saying that it is part of the government’s bid to give parents ’A greater choice of a good school place for their child.”

However, the government is yet to confirm how this will be funded.

In addition to this, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) general secretary, Mary Bousted, believes that the Chancellor is “throwing more money at free schools and grammar schools”.

She said: “These spending pledges are totally insufficient to tackle the schools funding crisis the government is inflicting on schools by forcing them to make over £3 billion of savings by 2020.

“Not only will funding be misdirected, but the National Audit Office (NAO) found that it costs far more to create a place in a free school that it does a mainstream school.”

Bousted added: “And the government persists in wasting money by allowing free schools to open in areas where there is no shortage of places.”

“We urge the government to rethink and increase the overall amount of funding for schools through the national funding formula so that it can to its job and ensure that every child has the opportunity of a good education.”

Read more